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How Does Your Garden Grow?

June 07, 2012

group-of-children-with-providers-examining-plantsAre you looking for a fun and engaging activity to share with your child this summer? Planting and tending a garden together will provide many learning opportunities. You can practice counting, colors, and learning responsibility by caring for your garden. Children of all ages can enjoy this summer project.

Below you will find some ideas for creating a garden with your child.

Location, location, location.  It doesn’t matter where you plant your garden. Whether it’s a community garden or small patch in your backyard, the adventure can be a great one. You can even garden in containers! Go on a scavenger hunt to find fun and creative containers to use as planters. Use your imagination and the possibilities are endless. Anything that will hold the soil needed to grow your plants can be used.

Grow a healthy garden.  Talk with your child about the vegetables and fruits you are planting. You can discuss how making healthy food choices will help your child grow. Your child might even enjoy eating new vegetables because he grew them himself. Make a family meal together with the ingredients from your garden.

Share your rewards. Many times with a successful garden, you will find yourself with more than enough produce for your family. Encourage your children to put together a little basket of garden goodies to share with a neighbor. Depending on the variety of fruits and vegetables in your garden, you can also share your goodies in the form of salsas,  sauces, or a yummy dessert such as carrot cake.

Do Something Different

A Butterfly Garden. If you want to try a different sort of garden with your children, you can plant a  garden that will attract butterflies. Not only will you have a beautiful backyard full of colorful flowers, but you will also have many opportunities to teach your child about plant and animal relationships when the butterflies arrive.

Go to a Farmer’s Market. Take you child to a local farmer’s market. This experience will give him the opportunity to meet and talk with the farmers who grow the produce that is for sale. Similar to growing your own garden, the farmer’s market will give your child the opportunity for both fun and educationalconversations with the vendors.

What does your community offer? Look to see whether your community offers any  courses on gardening. Maybe there’s a Master Gardner’s club in your area that you can visit with regarding your summer project. Local 4-H clubs or county extension agents might also be able to share fun and informational resources for your little gardener.

No matter where you’re planting, what you’re planting, or the end result, taking time to grow a garden together is a great activity for you and your child. Just think of the enjoyment you’ll see on his face when he finds that first reward from his planting efforts. Enjoy your summer and happy planting!


Kids Gardening
Locating a Farmer’s Market
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Topics: Family & Community Engagement, Parenting

National Child Care Information and Referral Center Team

Written by National Child Care Information and Referral Center Team

A program of Child Care Aware® of America, the National Child Care Information & Referral Center has served as our nation’s most respected hub of child care information for parents and child care providers. The team has helped families and providers connect with their local Child Care Resource and Referral office (CCR&R) and locate other child care resources in their communities across the United States since 1992.